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Published at: July 13, 2011, 12:51 p.m. CST by AICNStaff

I am – Hercules!!

 


2010 gave us a third season of “Damages” likely FX’s best original series ever, with an engrossing third-season launch that tackles the life-destroying Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme.

Class-action lawyer Patty Hewes is working to recover money for the victims of Madoff-like douchenozzle Louis Tobin. I laud the producers for their inspired choice of target; one of the few things that infuriates me more than Madoff is the fact that our hard-earned tax dollars financed the incompetent Security and Exchange Commission that empowered Madoff’s wholesale bilkage.

Campbell Scott joins the cast as Tobin’s anguished son and Lily Tomlin as Tobin’s seemingly bewildered wife. Most gratifyingly, Martin Short does a terrific job playing it straight as Tobin’s lawyer. (The role reminds me that just before Short introduced Ed Grimley to SCTV, he played lead lawyer Tucker Kerwin in a short-lived 1979 ABC sitcom titled “The Associates.” Like “The Paper Chase,” that series was based on a novel by Harvard law school grad John Jay Osbourne.)

Rose Byrne is back as Ellen Parsons, now working full-time for the D.A. Arthur Frobisher is back. Returning earlier are Michael Nouri as Patty’s now-estranged husband Phil Grey and Tom Noonan as detective Vic Huntley.

Reiko Aylesworth and Sarah Wynter, who both joined “24” in its second season, now both join “Damages” in its third.

And Keith Carradine, fresh off “Dexter” and “Dollhouse,” (the man apparently likes these one-word “D” dramas) is now lurking about in Patty’s orbit.

USA Today says:

… Patty, played once again with a bracing mixture of venom and good intentions by the inimitable Glenn Close, is about to get our money back for us from a fraudulent financier. Right off the bat that may strike you as a more fun case than last season's environmental conspiracy, and two episodes in, at least, that proves to be the case. …

The Los Angeles Times says:

… Opening with a bang, literally, the third season of this gravity-defying balancing act of a show promises to be the best one yet. Jumping at the chance to fictionalize Bernie Madoff, here thinly disguised as Ponzi-architect Louis Tobin (Len Cariou), creators Todd Kessler, Glenn Kessler and Daniel Zelman offer us the mouth-watering opportunity to see what would happen if our gal Patty could get to the bottom of things, all in the name of the defrauded masses: murder and mayhem, of course, presented in the show's signature and still tantalizing time-warped bits and carried out by yet another killer ensemble. …

The San Francisco Chronicle says:

… FX sent the first two episodes of Season 3 for review and - yep - they are pretty addictive. Save for one far-fetched incident, the two hours provided enough clues as to where the season will head - and how much conflict from secrets and lies will be coming down the pike - to hook fans of the show who might have been waffling on the commitment. The trouble is, of course, that's just two episodes. There's plenty of time for the whole thing to go sideways. …

The Dallas Morning News says:

… The show's co-creators, Todd A. Kessler, Glenn Kessler and Daniel Zelman, wrote the premiere episode "Your Secrets Are Safe" (and Todd also directed). They pack everything that's smart and great and beautiful about Damages into this intro. …

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says:

… As season three begins, "Damages" finally gets its formula right. Almost nothing from the past two seasons -- beyond the wary Ellen-Patty relationship -- has any bearing on this week's season premiere. Better yet, Ellen is more realistically working outside of Hewes & Associates in the district attorney's office. …

The Boston Herald says:

… TV’s best legal drama opens with a series-changing stunner. It starts with a car crash. It ends with the discovery of a body. The identity of that corpse will rattle fans of the show. The revelations next week only deliver on “Damages’ ” promise to shake things up in in its third season. If the series survives to a fourth year - and this fan hopes so - it will never be the same. Of course, all these dire revelations come via “Damages’ ” six-month flash-forwards. They have never been more suspenseful. …

Variety says:

… Any way you slice it, this is big-brain TV -- the kind of program that must be watched with close attention paid to the small details. … FX has often made its bones by seeking to push the pay-cable envelope in terms of standards, sometimes gratuitously so; "Damages" demonstrates that envelope-pushers needn't be edgier, necessarily, just smarter.

 


Truly, I despise that “ER” eventually evolved into the quickly cancelled “Stamos’ Anatomy,” but I will say that “ER’s” 15th and final season provided a stellar hour of television that reunited the departed George Clooney, Juliana Marguiles, Noah Wyle, Eriq LaSalle and writer-director John Wells.

 


The seventh season of “Entourage” turned Vincent Chase into a drug-addled jerk. Eric settled down with Sloan. Billy Walsh started pitching Drama on a cartoon show. Turtle started selling tequila. Sasha Grey demonstrated again she is one shitty actress. Ari got involved with the NFL, making the series feel more like “Arli$$” than ever. Maybe the most banal stretch of “Entourage” to date.

Herc’s Popular Pricing Pantry

From the creators of “Team America” and “Book of Mormon”!! Every episode of “That’s My Bush,” $26.98 last year and $21.49 last week, is momentarily at an ALL TIME LOW of $11.49/Season!! (57% Off!!)

“Dragon Ball Z” boxes, $55.99 last year and $41.49 last week, are momentarily $23.99 Each!! (60% Off!!)

The Blu-ray version of the BBC’s “Galapagos,” $20.99 in March, $16.49 in April and $15.49 in June, has momentarily fallen to an all-time low of $9.99!! (66% Off!!)

The latter two seasons of the brilliant “Veronica Mars,” from the creator of “Cupid” and “Party Down,” are momentarily $17.99/Season!! (70% Off!!)

TV-on-Disc Calendar

Last Week
According To Jim 4.x
Boy Meets World 6.x
The Cape: The Complete Series
Dynasty 5.x
Eureka 4.x Vol. 1
Land Girls 2.x
Mannix 5.x
Mannix Five-Season Pack
McMillan & Wife 4.x
McMillan & Wife 5.x
Mysteries At The Museum 1.x
The PJs 2.x
Tom & Jerry: Fur Flying Adventures Vol. 2
Transformers Japanese Collection: Headmasters
Victorious 1.x Vol. 1
A Woman's Guide To Adultery: The Complete Miniseries

This Week

 


Alice 1.x

 


America's Test Kitchen 11.x

 


Damages 3.x

 


Doctor Who: The Awakening

 


Doctor Who: Gunfighters

 


Entourage 7.x

 


Entourage 7.x (Blu-ray)

 


ER 15.x

 


Fairly Odd Parents: The Movie

 


Ghostbusters: Four Episodes

 


Groovie Ghoulies

 


Last of the Summer Wine 1990

 


Mad Mad Mad Monsters

 


MI-5 Vol. 9

 

Poirot Vol. 6

 


Poirot Vol. 6 (Blu-ray)

 


Robot Chicken: Star Wars III

 


Robot Chicken: Star Wars III (Blu-ray)

 


Thundercats 1.x Vol. 1

Next Week
American Muscle Car: The Complete Series
California Dreams: Best Of
Doctor Who 6.x Vol. 1

 


Doctor Who 6.x Vol. 1 (Blu-ray)
Epitafios 2.x
Fun In Busytown
Get Along Gang: Best Of
The Girls Next Door 6.x
Hey Dude 1.x
The iCarly Collection
Kendra 1.x
The Littles: Complete Collection
Mandrake 1.x
Melrose Place 6.x Vol. 2
Melrose Place 6.x
Reggie Perrin Vol. 1
Simon & Simon: Best of 3.x
Smurfs: A Magical Smurf Adventure

 


Top Gear U.S. 1.x

 


Torchwood: The Complete U.K. Series (Blu-ray)
Ultraman 1.x Vol. 2

 


Young Justice 1.x Vol. 1

July 26
The Bretts: The Complete Collection
Burn Notice: The Fall of Sam Axe

 


Burn Notice: The Fall of Sam Axe (Blu-ray)
Conan The Adventurer 1.x
Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis: The Colgate Comedy Hour
Dennis The Menace 2.x
Here's Lucy: Best Of
Honeymooners: Best Of The Color Episodes
Honeymooners: Best Of The Lost Episodes

 


Jersey Shore 3.x

 


Justice League 2.x (Blu-ray)
Shaun The Sheep Vol. 10
Snapped 1.x
Stargate Atlantis: The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
Supernatural Anime
Supernatural Anime (Blu-ray)
Wish Me Luck 3.x

August 2
Ben 10 Ultimate Alien Vol. 3
The Colony 2.x
Eastbound and Down 1.x (Blu-ray)
Eastbound and Down 2.x
Eastbound and Down 2.x (Blu-ray)

 


Everwood 4.x
Forensic Files: Conviction Overturned
Forensic Files: Crimes Of Passion
Forensic Files: Death By Poison
Forensic Files: Historic Cases
Forensic Files: Kidnapping Cases
Forensic Files: Medical Mysteries
Forensic Files: Serial Killers
Forensic Files: Sex Crimes

Garrow's Law 2.x
Hell's Kitchen 5.x
Hell's Kitchen 5.x (Blu-ray)
McMillan 6.x
McMillan & Wife: The Complete Series

 


Mystery Science Theatre XXI
Pie In The Sky 5.x
Samantha Brown's Passport to Great Weekends Vol. 3

Readers Talkback

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  • July 12, 2011, 10:09 a.m. CST

    Who wants to bet the Gilmore Girls packaging is ASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS?

    by Nasty In The Pasty

  • July 12, 2011, 12:17 p.m. CST

    ALL-TIME BEST FX SERIES IS THE SHIELD

    by Mullah Omar

    Quality from beginning to end. An ongoing show can't be in the discussion because there's always a chance for a decline. Also, what a shock - VERONICA MARS is still on sale. It's been 2+ years at this point. Better mention it before the deal is gone! And THAT'S MY BUSH is hit or miss. Some episodes like the one about Laura Bush's pussy worries are outstanding, others like one with the abortion midget are weak as hell. I wouldn't pay $12 for that show.

  • July 12, 2011, 7:04 p.m. CST

    SHIELD vs DAMAGES

    by Gene Cowan

    I've yet to watch all of The Shield, but yes, I completely agree with you in terms of sheer quality. Not to say that Damages isn't brilliant, however. The show that I find most entertaining, though, is Rescue Me. Can't wait until its return this week!

  • July 12, 2011, 7:07 p.m. CST

    Burn Notice: Fall of Sam

    by Gene Cowan

    I remember hearing they were doing this, but never realized it was actually out. Some day I'm going to power through Seasons 2 (where I left off) thru current of BN. Is The Fall of Sam Axe pretty decent? Is it pretty much an hour and a half of Bruce Campbell being awesome?

  • July 13, 2011, 12:06 a.m. CST

    gene_the_cows_lsd_milk . . . .

    by SubliminalJones

    Yes and yes.

  • July 13, 2011, 3:59 a.m. CST

    Damages Season 4

    by Xen11

    Why the fuck isn't that a news item? It premieres tonight. Fuck. Yet you have news on shit like Simon Cowell's X Factor.

  • It's framed with an awkward court marshall segment and isn't much more sophisticated than an old A-Team repeat, but then that kind of thing does have its charms.

  • The South Park guys were planning to do a show about the president regardless of who won the election, but obviously all of their ideas with Gore had more bite (they were talking about having his hot daughters be in an incestuous lesbian relationship , for instance.) Then Bush finally won the election and they did the tamest thing they've ever put to air. They always handled Bush with kid gloves on South Park as well. They're welcome to their political opinions, but it makes for damn weak comedy and an especially horrible subject to build an entire show around.

  • July 13, 2011, 7:28 a.m. CST

    one of these days, laura

    by mick vance

    i'm gonna punch you in the face!

  • July 13, 2011, 7:51 a.m. CST

    Hey, chewtoy...

    by BizarroJerry

    I believe for a while, even when Bush ended up winning, that show was talking about having the two Bush daughters acting slutty, and teasing Dick Cheney. At least in the earliest scripts of the show. I'm pretty certain that's what I heard. So, they chickened out no matter who won the election. I think the real problem with that show is people were expecting it to be more of a George W. Bush hating show, when that wasn't really the concept. The idea was to parody a typical older 70s/80s sitcom with the White House as the setting, and some obviously edgy humor thrown in.

  • July 13, 2011, 9:05 a.m. CST

    I had completely forgotten about That’s My Bush

    by frank

    I think it was a pretty funny show when the Bush Jr. presidency was still relatively innocuous, but I guess it got derailed by 9/11.

  • July 13, 2011, 12:39 p.m. CST

    That’s My Bush was caceled before 9/11

    by Mugato5150

    And Bush wasn't elected, he was appointed by the supreme court because he lost the popular election but we still have the bullshit electoral vote.

  • July 13, 2011, 3:50 p.m. CST

    There's a reason it's the Cheapest That's My Bush

    by Cash907

    because that series sucked ass. If satire is only humorous to the mouth breathing morons that loath the topic/individual it is aimed at, it's crap. If you want funny political satire, go dig up The Powers that Be.

  • July 14, 2011, 8:22 a.m. CST

    chewtoy - Bush

    by JuntMonkey

    The guys do not like Bush. When they do shows where some sort of political opinion is apparent, it's generally libertarian or anarchist. As has already been said, That's My Bush is more concerned with blasting '80s sitcoms than anything political. It wasn't about bashing Bush.

  • July 16, 2011, 3:29 a.m. CST

    i heard that the real reason that that's my bush was

    by emeraldboy

    cancelled. is that it was too expensive. to keep on the air.

  • July 16, 2011, 8:19 a.m. CST

    Eh, I guess what I'm saying...

    by Chewtoy

    ...is that had Gore won, I believe we would have seen a sharper show from the two of them based on multiple comments at the time sharing gleefully warped ideas on how to portray that (then more famous) family. When Bush won instead, I think they really hadn't been focusing on skewering him and all we were left with was the basic generic sitcom parody framework, which wasn't enough. Once you get the joke of "Hey, they're being portrayed as stock sitcom characters", which takes all of five minutes of one episode, then you're pretty much done. My issue isn't that they never "trashed" Bush, it's that in the course of 8 years of him in office they never managed to come up with anything funny about the guy, which would have been more forgivable had they not based an entire show around him.

  • July 17, 2011, 8:54 p.m. CST

    That's My Bush was always about parodying sitcoms

    by Mr. Neutron

    That's why they had the wacky neighbor. It was going to be basically the same show no matter who won the election. And yes, Bush did win the election no matter how much you want to believe it was stolen, or the Supremes gave it to him. The New York Times and the Boston Globe, hardly conservative papers, went down and counted all the ballots using several different methods (hanging chads, remember them?) and he won. <p> If you don't like the electoral college that's fine, work to have it eliminated - but you can't change the rules after the fact because you didn't like the result.

  • July 18, 2011, 11:04 a.m. CST

    Glenn Close is a great guy. Love to have a beer with him someday.

    by Knobules

    Talk about our huge balls